KERALA

Murder case: police inaction alleged

Staff Reporter

Vijayaraghavan, a businessman, succumbed to his injuries on October 27



Probe by an agency other than the city police sought

Memorandum submitted to Home Minister



Thiruvananthapuram: The wife of murdered businessman N.S. Vijayaraghavan has given a request to Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan imploring that her husband’s killing be investigated by a law enforcing agency other than the city police.

In her petition, Renjitha Kumari, 53, of Dwaraka House, Thycaud, told the Minister she suspected that the “moneyed and politically powerful” suspects in the case had influenced the police investigation.

She said the police could not arrest any of the main suspects in the case even three weeks after the occurrence of the crime. A relative of Vijayaraghavan alleged that the suspects had attended a wedding ceremony in Kochi few days after the murder.

The police have named private bus operator ‘Mangulam’ Shabir, his sons, Shanaz and Shadul, Sandeep Xavier, John, Arun and Renjith as the main suspects in the case. Shabir is an accused in several financial fraud cases. Some of the suspects worked for a group which repossessed cars from owners who defaulted on their mortgage payments to banks.

Head injury

Vijayaraghavan sustained a fatal injury on his head in front of Shabir’s apartment complex around 8 p.m. on October 22. He fell into a coma and succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital on the night of October 27.

Investigators said a gang, acting at the behest of the suspects, beat Vijayaraghavan and hit him fatally on the head with a beer bottle. They said Shabir’s sons summoned the youths who arrived at the spot in a van. Last week, the police arrested Sandeep Xavier, son of a middle ranking Central Intelligence Bureau official, in connection with the murder. They also confiscated a vehicle suspected to have been used by the assailants.

Vijayaraghavan, son of a leading yesteryear businessman in the city, and Shabir were friends for nearly 20 years. Vijayaraghavan was a regular visitor to the latter’s home. At 5 p.m. on October 2, Shabir’s sons threatened Vijayaraghavan for some unknown reason near Statue. Shabir was present at the time.

At 7.30 p.m., Vijayaraghavan went to Shabir’s flat in an autorickshaw with his aide Eapen apparently with the motive to challenge the actions of his friend’s sons.

The suspects beat up the autorickshaw driver, Asokan, and Eapen when they tried to save Vijayaraghavan from their wrath. The police said some flat dwellers rushed Vijayaraghavan to the hospital.

Circle Inspector, Museum, K.E. Baiju said the police were pursuing the suspects. “The police have strongly objected, in the High Court, their application for anticipatory bail.” He said the suspects were in Kochi for sometime.

Eapen alias Retnakumar, key police witnesses in the case, has filed a complaint at the Cantonment police station stating that unknown persons had intimidated him at Palayam from giving evidence against the suspects.

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